Tuesday, August 19, 2008

About August

Locusts screaming at us every night.

Driving down a country road in Ohio, the corn so high it's a green-topped-with-gold tunnel.

My parents' mile-high tomato plants drooping with fruit, picking the ripe ones, that sharp smell. Eating one still warm, like an apple, a little salt. Too much juice. Just right.

A tree already highlighted with yellow leaves, us saying, "Turning early this year." Or is it too dry?

A stormy day with hot, heavy air morphs through dusk into an evening with a hint of coolness, fall lurking in the darkness.

Backpacks and notebooks and pens filling the aisles at the store, filling me with longing for that first-day-of-school feeling, that new dress-and-new-lunchbox feeling, that sense of anything-can-happen-this-year.

Driving by the school in the evening and catching a flash of color on a green field that is football practice.

Stopping by the farm market and feeling guilty at the embarrassment of riches, the peaches and peppers, the watermelon and cantelope, the tall bunch of fuchsia gladiolas, the sweet corn I'll cook in boiling water for just a minute then serve with salt and pepper and butter, and savor its crunchy freshness in my mind, all winter long.

Passing yellow school buses on my way to work.

Staying up too late watching Olympians in China, regretting it the next morning that seems so much darker than just two weeks ago.

Checking the baseball standings, wondering if this is the year the Cubs really will, well, you know, not fail.

Trying to remember that summer's not really over until after Labor Day, not even until late September.

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